Assessing knowledge and attitudes towards cervical cancer screening among rural women in eastern China

Tongtong Liu, Shunping Li, Julie Ratcliffe

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28 Citations (Scopus)


There is a heavy burden of cervical cancer in China. Although the Chinese government provides free cervical cancer screening for rural women aged 35 to 59 years, the screening rate remains low even in the more developed regions of eastern China. This study aimed to assess knowledge and attitudes about cervical cancer and its screening among rural women aged 30 to 65 years in eastern China. A cross-sectional study was conducted in four counties of Jining Prefecture in Shandong Province during August 2015. In total, 420 rural women were randomly recruited. Each woman participated in a face-to-face interview in which a questionnaire was administered by a trained interviewer. A total of 405 rural women (mean age 49 years old) were included in the final study. Among them, 210 (51.9%) participants had high knowledge levels. An overwhelming majority, 389 (96.0%) expressed positive attitudes, whilst only 258 (63.7%) had undergone screening for cervical cancer. Related knowledge was higher amongst the screened group relative to the unscreened group. Age, education and income were significantly associated with a higher knowledge level. Education was the only significant factor associated with a positive attitude. In addition, women who were older, or who had received a formal education were more likely to participate in cervical cancer screening. The knowledge of cervical cancer among rural women in eastern China was found to be poor, and the screening uptake was not high albeit a free cervical cancer screening program was provided. Government led initiatives to improve public awareness, knowledge, and participation in cervical cancer screening programs would likely be highly beneficial in reducing cervical cancer incidence and mortality for rural women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number967
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Attitude
  • Cervical cancer
  • China
  • Knowledge


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